Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind

Site searchWeb search

Rangers Dream Team
1982-Memorial Cup Run
As presented in 1982 by the Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Rangers built success on strong defence
By: Larry Anstett, KW Record  -  May 8th, 1982

HOPEFUL - Before heading off to the Memorial Cup tournament Kitchener Rangers posed for this picture.
Top row (left to right): Jeff Larmer, Dan Quinn, Dave Shaw, Mario Michieli, Rober Savard, Brad Schnurr, James Locke
Middle Row: Les Bradley (head trainer), Brett Johnston (assistant trainer), Jim Ralph, John Tucker, Bob Ertel (president), Mike Hough, Joe Crozier (coach) Dave Nicholls, Grant Martin, Mike Moher, Bob Schlieman (assistant trainer)
Bottom Row: Wendell Young, Mike Eagles, Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis, Brian Bellows, Joel Levesque, Kevin Casey, Louis Crawford, Darryl Boudreau

     Hull, Que. – If the Kitchener Rangers are going to win their first Memorial Cup championship in their 19-year history, the team’s defence – rather than the much publicized offence – may hold the key to success in the week-long Canadian junior hockey championship which opens tonight with the Rangers facing the Sherbrooke Beavers.
     The line of Brian Bellows, Jeff Larmer, and Grant Martin is among the most celebrated junior forward combinations in the nation and the three other units, although they haven’t been scoring regularly, are generally solid.
     Although the Bellows line is sensational, the offence has been only slightly more potent then last year when Kitchener went all the way to the Cup finals, losing 5-2 to the Cornwall Royals.
     Last year, the Rangers had a younger team and averaged 4.22 goals per game in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.  This year’s club is older – only four starters are first year players – but the goal average was up only fractionally at 4.6.
     What is significant is that Rangers have complied a brilliant goals against playoff average of 2.4 compared to last season’s 3.19.
     Wendell Young has played the last 26 games in goal and the five defencemen – Al MacInnis, Robert Savard, Joel Levesque and rookies Scott Stevens and Dave Shaw – have thrown up a mighty fortress around the net.
     Stevens and Levesque are the most aggressive rearguards, but all five are big and strong.  MacInnis, a first-team OHL all-star, doubles as an offensive threat, having led Ontario defencemen in scoring and features a wicked slapshot that OHL coaches voted the hardest in the league.
     Stevens bruised his right shoulder in Wednesday’s practice, but said he’s raring to go although he may not hit as much as usual until he sees how the shoulder feels.
     The fact that the Rangers have kept much of the play in the opposition’s end – they blasted Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa in the playoffs, losing only one of 15 games – has kept some of the pressure off the Rangers defence.
     It remains to be seen whether Sherbrooke or the Portland Winter Hawks will be able to generate more power than Kitchener’s OHL opponents, but at this stage it appears the defensive area is the least of coach Joe Crozier’s worries.
     That was underlined earlier this week when Crozier picked up Ottawa’s all-star goaltender Jim Ralph, who was sensational in the OHL finals against Kitchener.
     Crozier also named Cambridge native Mike Moffat of the Kingston Canadians as an alternative netminder, but Moffat didn’t make the trip and will be flown in only if one of the three goaltenders is injured.
     Crozier said Young’s backup for the opening game will be rookie Darryl Boudreau, who hasn’t played in almost three months.
     Crozier’s main concern is trying to get more scoring from some of his lines and to that end he juggled three lines in practice this week and experimented again Friday.
     The last-ditch juggling may seem to be coming at a bad time, but Crozier, when asked if he was going to go ahead with it, said, “I don’t know yet I’m just fooling around.  I won’t know until tomorrow.”
     The new combinations have center Kevin Casey with Mike Moher and Dave Nicholls, Mike Eagles with Mike Hough and John Tucker, and Brad Schnurr with Mario Michieli and Louis Crawford.
     The Bellows line accounted for 15 of the Rangers 21 goals against Ottawa and 42 of 71 playoff goals.
     The playoff statistics are top heavy with Larmer having 21 goals and Bellows 16 MacInnis is far back with five, while potential scorers like Martin and Eagles have only three each and Nicholls only two.
     “I don’t think there’s too much to be worried about,” said Bellows, who has played almost half the game in some contests.
     “As long as the other lines an keep preventing goals, and they are doing that as well as anybody, we should be all right.”
     Larmer added, “We’ve been changing lines all season, I don’t think it will matter now.
     Casey said, “A lot of us have played together before, so it’s not as if we’re playing with completely no linemates.”

Speed is the weapon of Sherbrooke Beavers

KW Record  -  May 8th, 1982


     SHERBROOKE, Que (CP) – Any way you look at it, the Memorial Cup playoffs will be historic for the Sherbrooke Beavers.
     Win or lose, it will be the last time Sherbrooke participates in the junior hockey championship, because the franchise has already been shifted to St. Jean, Que., for the 1982-83 season.
     The city of Sherbrooke is awaiting approval from the American Hockey League at a meeting May 16 for a franchise that would be the farm team of the National Hockey League Winnipeg Jets next year.
     The Beavers went out in style however, winning the regular-season championship and blasting their oppositionin four straight games in the semi-final and final rounds.
     Mindful of the club’s success, center John Chabot, the Beavers top scorer and third in the league with 34 goals and 109 assists, said of the Memorial Cup playoffs, which begun Saturday: “I think our chances are pretty decent.  We should have some sort of a psychological edge over the other teams because of the way we swept through our playoffs.”
     Strength down the center is one of the Beavers’ biggest assets.  Daniel Campeau, another centerman was second to Chabot in team scoring with 58 goals and 50 assists.
     Both players are noted for their speed, a quality that seems to run throughout the squad.  Swift-skating right winger Sean McKenna, for instance, fired 57 goals, while left winger Gerard Gallant and Luc Bachand, a winger notched 34 and 35 goals respectively.
     “I really didn’t think we would win the championship with the personnel we had at the start of the season,” said Sherbrooke coach Andre Boisvert.  “The arrival of Michel Lanouette (a 20-year-old forward) and (goaltender) Michel Morrissette in a trade, played a major role in our success.”
     Morrissette complied a 3.51 goals against average in 45 games in a league that stresses offence.
     The Beavers netminder had his job made easier by defencemen such as Paul Boutilier and Michel Petit, both of whom were selected to the first all-star team earlier this week.
     The Beavers will be making their third Memorial Cup appearance, after coming away empty-handed in 1975 and 1977.